Why are we detouring into the nursery? Well. When Josie was small, and I was tired but she was not, I’d walk the floors with her in the dark, and make stuff up. Nonsense murmuring stuff like this – a rhyming stream of bakery talk. Yes. I was one whacked-out sleepy caterer.
So why am I doing it again? We recently unearthed a few notes from those days, and I decided to revisit, and finish the doodling I’d started some twelve years ago. This update is a gift for a friend, someone expecting her first, someone who will also tread floors and will, perhaps, find the need to recite baked goods. I was always amazed how a silly muffin-and-pie mantra could soothe us both, how it could rock her to sleep and keep me just enough awake. For the record, it also appears to work on sweets-loving kids, goofy adults, and a few chatty, sugar-looped bakers.
A is sweet on apples, that fall into the pie
B melts into butter, and makes the muffins sigh
Elephant ears are flaky (you can say palmiers, too)
F is for the fritter that has nothing else to do
I is pie in the icebox – it’s lemon, sweet and cold
Jam befriends the sponge cake and they build a jelly roll
K is always Key lime – should be yellow, never green!
L is for the lattice that keeps red berries seen
Macarons are le favorite, a Paris souvenir
P is for the nice plain pears we’ll eat to clean the slate
Q is for Queen Mother’s Cake, from Maida Heatter’s book
R is for the recipe our dog’s jaws sadly took
Scones are a craggy compass, to point us through the day
Tea is their companion (though not the American way)
U loves umeboshi, Japanese fruit that’s pickled tart
V is for vanilla, pure and closest to the heart
Y is for golden egg yolks, like whisking in the sun
and Zzz’s are heard at daybreak…
…when the bakery work’s begun.